No matter what happens in the stock market, the best stocks to buy right now for long-term gains haven't changed.
While some stocks may be trading at inflated prices, we believe that there are others that are providing good buying opportunities. These stocks to buy will be healthy companies for years to come - even if their share prices slip in a pull back, they're still stronger investments than most of the inflated shares selling today.
What Are the Best Stocks to Buy?
In any market, there are going to be stocks that represent some "must-have" products and services. These are the sorts of well-performing stocks that are going to continue to do well, and those that you should seek out.
For example, will people still need medicine, water, and power under any circumstances? For the most part - yes. Global defense and technology stocks are also top picks if they are backed by strong companies.
What are the best stocks to buy? Here are our latest picks:
Best Stocks to Buy Right Now - Pick No. 5: United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS)
Where would we be without UPS? If you think that other companies could step up and take their place, you'd be wrong. This 108-year-old company processes more than 15 million packages each day, delivering to millions of customers in more than 200 countries.
UPS far outperforms its chief rival, FedEx, in the earnings department, and for every $1 the company invests in its long-term growth, 32% is earned back annually. The company also continues to invest in technology upgrades, such as leveraging big data for its operations.
UPS is trading around $109, and company shares are up 13.74% year to date (YTD). Big Brown is a company that continues to reward investors in many ways, with annual dividend growth of 10% since its IPO 17 years ago.
Best Stocks to Buy Right Now - Pick No. 4: American Water Works Co. Inc. (NYSE: AWK)
American Water Works is a New Jersey-based public utility company that operates both in the United States and Canada. This century-old company provides vital water and plumbing services to millions of households and businesses, making it a "must-have" service that is virtually unaffected by market trends and economic downturns.
Compared to its competitors, AWK is both a performing stock and a bargain buy. If you look at Aqua America, its largest competitor, the company is trading at seven times sales. AWK, on the other hand, is trading at four times sales. The company has plans to continue improving efficiencies over the next five years, and they have posted consistent growth.
Shares of AWK are trading around $76, up 28.37% YTD. AWK also pays out to investors, with dividends rising $0.20 per share since 2008.
Best Stocks to Buy Right Now - Pick No. 3: Galapagos NV (Nasdaq ADR: GLPG)
Money Morning Executive Editor William Patalon, III, first recommended this stock back in 2011, and he is still recommending it today. Galapagos NV is a Belgium biotech company that is considered an independent drug development lab.
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The company has been working on a class of Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors that have uses in treating certain cancers and inflammatory diseases, particularly rheumatoid arthritis (RA). As the treatment of RA has turned into a $19 billion industry, the company's new drug, called filgotnib, has great promise.
Galapagos has entered a lucrative partnership with Gilead Sciences and is considered a strong pick. The company has an impressive $3.2 billion market cap. GLPG stock is currently trading at $71.40, where it has gained 32.49% in the past three months and 13.88% YTD.
Best Stocks to Buy Right Now - Pick No. 2: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA)
Alibaba is the Chinese-based online retailer that has its hand in e-commerce, entertainment, financial services, and more. The company's IPO in 2010 claims the record as the world's largest IPO, where more than $25 billion was raised.
If you bought into BABA at the IPO level, you might be less than enthused with your results to date. However, once the dust settled, there have been some buying opportunities and the company has proven to be both an innovator and a steady performer, making it one of the best stocks of 2016.
Alibaba has its own payment system (like Paypal) called Alipay. The company also offers investments that perform better than major Chinese banks. Late last year, they purchased a YouTube-like website that had a current customer base of more than 580 million.
Today, BABA is posting its highest growth rates since the IPO. Despite trouble at home, BABA remains prosperous in China and still has other markets in which it can expand, including Europe and the United States. BABA stock is currently trading around $107, with gains of 32.87% YTD.
Best Stocks to Buy Right Now - Pick No. 1: Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN)
If you're looking for the best stocks to buy right now, you can't go wrong with Raytheon. Money Morning Director of Technology & Venture Capital Research Michael A. Robinson has this defense giant as a top pick. The company is approaching 100 years in business and specializes in defense, cybersecurity, and other government-related products and services.
Raytheon is not only a strong company, with a $40.9 billion market cap, but it is awash in new contracts in just the past few months. From the Navy, it has been awarded nearly $650 million in new contracts. The Army awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a $129 million contract, and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency activated an option for a $523 million contract in August.
Missiles are a big deal at Raytheon but, essentially, all of the company's divisions are performing well and experiencing solid growth. RTN stock is trading at $138.67, and shares are up 11.17% YTD.